Q 1. Kindly give our readers an introduction to your business. Please include what your business is all about, in which city you are located and if you have offices in multiple locations/ cities.
Ans: At Granite Garage Floors we upgrade residential concrete garage floors to Look and Like Like Granite, utilizing our proprietary system which is durable, chemical resistant, easy to clean and guaranteed not to peel from hot-tires. We have locations in Atlanta, Baltimore, Dallas, Denver, Kansas City, Raleigh-Durham, Richmond, and Fort Lauderdale.
Q 2. Kindly give us a brief description about yourself (it should include your brief educational or entrepreneurial background and list some of your major achievements).
Ans: Upon graduating from the university of Florida, I spend 20+ years in corporate America working for the Stanley Black & Decker corporation in a variety of executive sales, marketing, and management business positions, before I decided it was time to reinvent myself and create a business model and grow it to the Granite Garage Floor franchise concept.
Q 3. What inspired you to (start a new business venture) or (to make significant changes in an existing business)? How did the idea for your business come about?
Ans: Having spent my career in the Home Improvement industry on the product/retail side of the business, I always had a passion for home improvement projects with a keen eye toward industry trends. Epoxy Coating systems have been around for many years; however, it was more prevalent in commercial settings vs residential. It was my belief that if more residential customers where aware that they could have a commercial grade quality product in their residential garage space that is equally durable, has design centric characteristics and will not peel-up from hot tires, that they would choose to invest and upgrade their garage floor with a system from Granite Garage Floors. Since the garage represents roughly 10% of the average home’s total square feet and is the primary entry point into the home for many home owners and guests, I equally believed that many home improvement enthusiasts would jump at the chance to upgrade their garage floor to Look and Last Like Granite if they were exposed to a company that would provide them that service at a fair price with exceptional customer service and warranty.
Q 4. What three pieces of advice would you give to budding entrepreneurs?
Ans: Believe in your product and service and have a sincere passion for the category, don’t listen to the nay sayers as their will be many, stay focused on your strategy yet be flexible in modify parts as the business develops and grows.
Q 5. What would you say are the top three skills needed to be a successful entrepreneur?
Ans: 1. 1. Be a good listener, surround yourself with people that you can learn from.
2. Be prepared to work hard and recognize that you will have failures along the way.
3. Hiring good people to help you execute your business plan.
Q 6. How many hours do you work a day on average?
Ans: 10-12 hours 6 days a weeks
Q 7. To what do you most attribute your success?
Ans: Work ethic and passion for the business
Q 8. How do you go about marketing your business?
Ans: What has been your most successful form of marketing? This is part of our company’s secret sauce so I can’t go into specific’s, I can say that having a comprehensive advertising and marketing strategy that targets your customer’s demographics is extremely important toward building a Brand.
Q 9. Where did your organizations funding/capital come from and how did you go about getting it? How did you obtain investors for your venture?
Ans: I self-funded the company and grew it using retaining earnings and not drawing much of a salary for the first couple years.
Q 10. What is the best way to achieve long-term success?
Ans: Developing a business plan, vetting it out through feedback from others and then executing the strategy, while be nimble enough to make changes along the way.
Q 11. Where you see yourself and your business in 5 – 10 years?
Ans: I see the Granite Garage Floors franchise concept growing to 25 additional location over the next 5 years.
Q 12. Excluding yours, what company or business do you admire the most? There are many companies
Ans: I have follow over the years and watched their growth and success. Having grown in in consumer products business, I tend to favor product vs technology companies. Locally in Atlanta, I have always followed Home Depot as a great success story and more recently I love the Spanx business model and what Sara has been able to do with that brand and category.
Recommended Questions –
Q 13. How important have good employees been to your success?
Ans: Extremely, this is where the rubber meets the road. Good people are the life blood of the organization. I truly believe in recognizing and rewarding individual and team contributions and letting them share in the financial success of the company.
Q 14. How long do you stick with an idea before giving up?
Ans: It varies depending on the business function, ie sales, marketing, operations, etc…there is also a component what your gut is telling you on whether or not a strategy is or isn’t working. I think any entrepreneur needs to open to the idea that certain strategies might sound good in theory but aren’t practical from an execution perspective.
Q 15. What motivates you?
Ans: Family, Friends, Business growth
Q 16. What are your ideals?
Ans: Honesty, Integrity, Ethics,…having a Customer Centric approach to business and always trying to do the right thing!
Q 17. How do you generate new ideas?
Ans: Keeping up on industry trends for our category of business, awareness of market place trends from an advertising/marketing perspective, looking at competitive landscape or adjacent businesses and what synergies exist between where we are today and where we are going.
Q 18. How do you define success?
Ans: Waking up and being motivated to work on my business every day, knowing that the opportunity is great and that all the hard work is for my family and company employees.
Q 19. How do you build a successful customer base?
Ans: Provide a quality product/service with exceptional customer service so your customers become a solid source of referrals and references to your business.
Q 20. What is your favorite aspect of being an entrepreneur?
Ans: As a smaller start-up you get the opportunity to wear many different hats throughout the different phases of the growth cycle.
Q 21. What has been your most satisfying moment in business?
Ans: The moment you realize that the business you have built is growing exponentially ahead of your business plan and that your idea’s, concept, and strategies which were once merely words on a document have come to fruition in practice.
Q 22. What do you feel is the major difference between entrepreneurs and those who work for someone else?
Ans: Being able to make the decisions that impact the company without having to fight through corporate bureaucracy.
Q 23. What kind of culture exists in your organization?
Ans: Customer First Mentality… Construction related contractors are typically known for not showing up as scheduled and lack of communication, so our goal is to provide “white glove” service from strong communication throughout the process, cleaning up after selves, leaving the customer with only a beautiful garage floor when completed
Q 24. How did you establish this tone and why did you institute this particular type of culture?
Ans: Our culture is one of get it down the first time mentality, as “go backs” are a lose,lose proposition in the construction/service industry.
In one word, characterize your life as an entrepreneur. BUSY
Q 25. If you had the chance to start your career over again, what would you do differently?
Ans: Probably would have made the entrepreneurial jump sooner, I do believe that my 20+ years of corporate America, helped me developed the necessary skills to become successful, however timing is a funny thing and sometimes you have to play the cards as they are dealt!
Q26. How has being an entrepreneur affected your family life?
Ans: It has allowed me to be around my family more, meaning less travel for work, around for dinner most nights, it’s just you can’t leave it at the office so many late nights and weekend work.
Q 27. How did you decide on the location for your business?
Ans: We located the business in Alpharetta, because that is where I happened to live and because our business is marketed to a higher-end demographic it’s a perfect central location to many of the affluent suburbs of the greater atlanta area.
Q 28. Do you believe there is some sort of pattern or formula to becoming a successful entrepreneur?
Ans: Good Idea, Strong Work Ethic, Demand Creation, and Flawless Execution
Q 29. What are your hobbies? What do you do in your non-work time?
Ans: I like playing golf, going to lake and beach…
Q 30. What sacrifices have you had to make to be a successful entrepreneur?
Ans: It is much harder to take time off vs my previous life in corporate America as you don’t have the infrastructure in place to pick up all the pieces when I am out of town for an extended period of time.
Company : Granite Garage Floors
Contact : Alan Mishkoff
Address : 10945 State Bridge Road, Suite 401-171
City : Alpharetta
State : GA
Zip : 30022
Phone : 678-500-9537